IMDb Top 250: #245 Ah-ga-ssi

Ah-ga-ssi (2016)

Director: Chan-wook Park
Writers: Sarah Waters (inspired by the novel “Fingersmith” by), Seo-kyeong Jeong (screenplay)
Stars: Min-hee Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Jin-woong Jo

A woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her.


This has been one strange movie to watch. I didn’t know what to expect since it was my first Korean movie. It’s mix of intrigue, eroticism, sadism and drama, told from three different points of view.

The action takes place in the 30s, in a Japanese controlled Korea. A young pick pocket girl is chosen by a con artist to help him marry a wealthy Japanese girl and then throw her in an asylum so that all the money can be his. Although it sounds like something straightforward it has more than one twist in it. Add in the most sadistic uncle one can possibly imagine, some twisted BDSM fetishes, some erotic poetry and you can get a pretty surprising movie experience.

This movie explores the Korean bourgeoisie and everything that is wrong with its society, where innocent people are caught up in some twisted games played by those in power.  Although I have never seen any other movie made by the director, you can see his vision as he tries to capture every aspect possible. Another thing that caught my eye was the graphical beauty of how this movie was shot. You actually feel surrounded by the world you see on the screen.

Still, it’s not an easy movie to watch. It can get lost in all the details. But if you love a good drama with an erotic influence and multiple plot twists that can keep you intrigued until the end, then this is definitely the movie to see.

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